October 16, 2015

Murphy homers, Mets move on to NLCS

LOS ANGELES--Daniel Murphy's inning solo home run sends the New York Mets to the NLCS Saturday after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-2, in Thursday night's fifth and deciding game of the NLDS.

The Mets got on the scoreboard first, right off the bat, literally, in the top of the first when leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson hit an infield single, called out initially, then awarded first base after a challenge. After Dodgers' starter, Zack Greinke (1-1), struck out David Wright, Daniel Murphy stroked a line drive down the left field line, plating the speedy Granderson to make it 1-0.

Los Angeles answered in the bottom of the first inning, scoring a couple runs to take over the lead, 2-1.

After a Lucas Duda lineout to second base, the Dodgers got their early rally in gear, Corey Seager lining a single into center field off of Mets' starter, Jacob deGrom (2-0). Adrian Gonzalez hit his own liner, a single to right field, advancing Seager to third base. Justin Turner then hit the Dodgers' third line drive single in a row, his to right field, scoring Seager to tie the game at 1-each while Gonzalez scampered to third base. Andre Ethier lofted a soft fly ball that fell safely to the turf in left field, scoring Gonzalez to give the Dodgers the go-ahead run, now ahead 2-1.

Murphy, clearly the Game #5 hero for the Mets, singled to right field in the fourth inning. After a fly out, Greinke walked Duda, pushing Murphy into scoring position at second base. Murphy then caught Greinke off guard, stealing third base, putting himself 90 feet away from scoring the tying run. Travis d'Arnaud hit a foul fly ball to the right field side, allowing Murphy to tag up and score from third, tying the game at 2-apiece.

A couple innings later, Murphy would strike again, this time a blast that would become the winning hit, a solo home run to right field on a full count, putting the Mets ahead for good at 3-2.

The Mets advance to the NLCS Saturday night at Citi Field in New York to start the seven-game series versus the Chicago Cubs.

The ALCS begins Friday night in Kansas City between the Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays.